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Project Coal
Photograph: Project Coal

5 local hand-dyed brands you should know about in Singapore

Made from unique dyeing techniques, no two pieces are alike

Mingli Seet
Written by
Mingli Seet
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The art of dyeing dates back almost 5000 years to a time when dyes were created from insects, plants, and natural materials that were available in abundance. Today in Singapore, artisans are bringing that piece of history back to life by incorporating traditional dyeing techniques into our everyday wardrobe, encouraging slow living and sustainability approaches at the same time. 

Fabrics are stained by natural dyes that are applied by hand, creating pieces that are unlike one another. With this curated list of local brands, the next time someone asks where your getup is from, you can proudly claim there’s only one of its kind in the world. 

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You Living

Keeping it minimal through the spirit of slow fashion, You Living believes in creating wardrobe essentials that are made with skilful tailoring to design effortless and timeless silhouettes. The brand prioritises environmentally-friendly materials, such as organic linen or cotton. You’ll be able to discover basic pieces from dresses to button-ups for both men and women, as well as special collection pieces that feature contemporary variations of the traditional cheongsam dress.

Fassbender And Mellon Collie

Sure, everyone knows the classic tie-dye where swirls are usually formed in the same fashion. However, FBMC takes it one step further. Through pouring dye over ice, the motifs and patterns that form organically on the fabric are unpredictable and peculiar in their own way – a controlled chaos, if we may say so. Every piece is different – find shirts to pants that have been given new life, and occasional collaborations with local artists. 

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Project Coal

Project Coal creates textiles, objects, and art through the medium of natural dyes. Every piece is handmade using natural materials – think botanical extracts and pigments – to create pieces that reflect the essence of the natural earth. The brand’s approach emphasises creativity and exploration, with each item showcasing the dyer's own personal expression and interpretation of the art and the environment.

Mai Textile Studio

Having discovered an affinity with the art of traditional textile and indigo dyeing after training under a master in Japan, Minyi, founder of Mai Textile Studio, returned to Singapore to establish her own studio to keep this tradition alive while modernising it at the same time. Adopting the traditional Japanese techniques of dyeing such as shibori and katazome and the usage of natural materials, she produces beautiful staples – from tops, to scarfs, bags, and even accessories.

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Somafolk

Inspired by the ancient folk way of living, soma folk is an enigmatic space that creates works using natural materials and dyeing techniques. The brand offers classic silhouettes for both men and women, using natural dyes to create beautiful shades of colours. This studio has exhibited works in Tokyo and Penang, and also offers workshops to teach others about Japanese indigo techniques using sukumo, a natural dye made from fermented indigo leaves.

More to explore

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